A Texas agency policy that allowed
social workers to discriminate against clients who are LGBT or have a
disability has been reversed following backlash from lawmakers and
The Texas Behavioral Health Executive
Council last week voted unanimously to restore protections found in
the social workers' code of conduct just two weeks after removing
According to The
Texas Tribune, Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican,
recommended removing the language because the non-discrimination
protections went beyond those offered by the state.
Gloria Canseco, who heads the agency,
regretted that removing the protections was “perceived as hostile
to the LGBTQ+ community or to disabled persons.”
“At every opportunity our intent is
to prohibit discrimination against any person for any reason,” said
Canseco, an Abbott appointee.
Two Democrats, state Senator Jose
Menendez of San Antonio and state Representative Jessica Gonzalez of
Dallas called on the board to reverse course.
Will Francis, executive director of the
Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers,
applauded the reversal.
“We are so grateful for the vote to
keep the anti-discrimination protections in place,” he said. “This
is a recognition of the key principle that a social worker's personal
beliefs must never impede a person's right to self-determination or
access to services.”